• The fishes of Genome 10K

      Bernardi, Giacomo; Wiley, Edward O.; Mansour, Hicham; Miller, Michael R.; Orti, Guillermo; Haussler, David; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Ryder, Oliver A.; Venkatesh, Byrappa (2012)
      The Genome 10K project aims to sequence the genomes of 10,000 vertebrates, representing approximately one genome for each vertebrate genus. Since fishes (cartilaginous fishes, ray-finned fishes and lobe-finned fishes) represent more than 50% of extant vertebrates, it is planned to target 4,000 fish genomes....
    • The Frozen Zoo

      Ryder, Oliver A. (2012)
      Wildlife gene banks provide a tool for studying species and monitoring conservation efforts
    • The Genome 10K Project: A Way Forward

      Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Benedict, Paten; The Genome 10K Community of Scientists; Antunes, Agostinho; Belov, Kathy; Bustamante, Carlos; Castoe, Todd A.; Clawson, Hiram; Crawford, Andrew J.; Diekhans, Mark; et al. (2015)
      The Genome 10K Project was established in 2009 by a consortium of biologists and genome scientists determined to facilitate the sequencing and analysis of the complete genomes of 10,000 vertebrate species. Since then the number of selected and initiated species has risen from ∼26 to 277 sequenced or ongoing with funding, an approximately tenfold increase in five years....
    • The Giant Otter: Giants of the Amazon

      Groenendijk, Jessica (White OwlBarnsley, UK, 2019)
      The aptly named giant otter is exceptionally well adapted to life in rivers, lakes and wetlands in tropical South America. Known in Spanish as lobo del rio or 'river wolf', it can be as long as a human is tall, and is the most social of the world's thirteen otter species. Each individual is identifiable from birth by its pale throat pattern, as unique as your fingerprint. Giant otters are top carnivores of the Amazon rainforest and have little to fear… except man.There are many reasons why scientists and tourists alike are fascinated by this charismatic species. Spend a day in the life of a close-knit giant otter family and you’ll realise why. Learn about their diet and hunting techniques, marking and denning behaviour, and breeding and cub-rearing strategies, including shared care of the youngest members. Become familiar with the complex life histories of individual otters over their 15-year lifespans. And accompany a young disperser during the trials and tribulations of a year spent looking for a mate and a home of its own.Although giant otters have few natural enemies, they became the target of the international pelt trade in the 1940s, and by the early 1970s had been hunted to the brink of extinction. Today, illegal hunting is a minor hazard. So why is the giant otter still endangered? Find out about current threats to the species and discover how a variety of conservation actions are benefiting the otters over the last decades. Then be a part of the solution by acting on the steps we can all take to help further giant otter conservation.
    • The gorillas of the Ebo Forest, Cameroon

      Morgan, Bethan J.; (2010)
      Cameroon is an important country for both gorillas and chimpanzees. To the south of the Sanaga River, western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) exist, often sympatrically with central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes). To the forested region northwest of the Sanaga River the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes vellerosus) is present (Gonder et al. 1997), as well as a small remnant population of Cross River gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehli) peppered along the Cameroon-Nigerian border area (Morgan & Sunderland-Groves 2004)....
    • The i5K Initiative: Advancing arthropod genomics for knowledge, human health, agriculture, and the environment

      Evans, Jay D.; Brown, Susan J.; Hackett, Kevin J.; Robinson, Gene; Richards, Stephen; Lawson, Daniel; Elsik, Christine; Coddington, Jonathan; Edwards, Owain; Emrich, Scott; et al. (2013)
      Insects and their arthropod relatives including mites, spiders, and crustaceans play major roles in the world’s terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems. Arthropods compete with humans for food and transmit devastating diseases. They also comprise the most diverse and successful branch of metazoan evolution, with millions of extant species. Here, we describe an international effort to guide arthropod genomic efforts, from species prioritization to methodology and informatics. The 5000 arthropod genomes initiative (i5K) community met formally in 2012 to discuss a roadmap for sequencing and analyzing 5000 high-priority arthropods and is continuing this effort via pilot projects, the development of standard operating procedures, and training of students and career scientists. With university, governmental, and industry support, the i5K Consortium aspires to deliver sequences and analytical tools for each of the arthropod branches and each of the species having beneficial and negative effects on humankind.
    • The impacts of inbreeding, drift and selection on genetic diversity in captive breeding populations

      Willoughby, J.R.; Fernandez, N.B.; Lamb M.C.; Ivy, Jamie A.; Lacy, R.C.; DeWoody, J.A. (2015)
      The goal of captive breeding programmes is often to maintain genetic diversity until re‐introductions can occur.... Our results suggest that although the effects of drift may not be fully mitigated, MK reduces the loss of alleles due to inbreeding more effectively than random mating or docility selection….
    • The importance of behavioral research in zoological institutions: An introduction to the special issue

      Miller, Lance J.; Mellen, Jill D.; Kuczaj, Stan, A.II (2013)
      Behavioral research within zoological institutions (zoos and aquariums) has a long history that has helped to increase basic scientific knowledge and to facilitate the ability of institutions to make informed animal management decisions. Kleiman (1992) stated that "behavior research in zoos has enormous potential to contribute positively to the science of animal management, long-term breeding programs, conservation biology, and the advancement of scientific theory" (p. 309). As evidenced by the papers in this issue, behavioral research in zoos continues to be important. The purpose of this special issue is to highlight some of the behavioral research being conducted within zoos and aquariums and to demonstrate the importance of such work to zoological institutions and the greater scientific community. With a better understanding of the importance of behavioral research, we hope to inspire more zoological facilities to become involved either through funding/conducting research or by actively promoting the use of their animal collections for behavioral research to both the zoological and academic communities....
    • The influence of ambient noise on maternal behavior in a Bornean sun bear (Helarctos malayanus euryspilus)

      Owen, Megan A.; Hall, S.; Bryant, L.; Swaisgood, Ronald R. (2014)
      …Here we correlate behavioral and vocal patterns in a Bornean sun bear (Helarctos malayanus euryspilus ) mother and cub with ambient noise levels during the 6‐month post‐partum period. We hypothesized that loud ambient noise would be correlated with changes in behavior, and predicted that noise would be negatively correlated with maternal care behavior, potentially masking cub vocalizations or providing a distraction to the mother….
    • The influence of captive breeding management on founder representation and inbreeding in the ‘Alalā, the Hawaiian crow

      Hedrick, Philip W.; Hoeck, Paquita E. A.; Fleischer, Robert C.; Farabaugh, Susan M.; Masuda, Bryce M. (2016)
      The ‘Alalā (Corvus hawaiiensis), or the Hawaiian crow, was historically only found on the island of Hawai‘i, declined greatly in the twentieth century, and was last seen in the wild in 2002. A captive breeding program was initiated in the 1970s and 113 individuals were in captivity in 2014....
    • The influence of landscape heterogeneity and dispersal on survival of neonate insular iguanas

      Knapp, Charles R.; Alvarez-Clare, Silvia; Perez-Heydrich, Caro; (2010)
      ...We investigated the influence of habitat heterogeneity and dispersal patterns on neonate survival for the iguana Cyclura cychlura cychlura inhabiting Andros Island in the Bahamas. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was a clear survival advantage for neonates that spent more time in open mangrove habitat than relatively more closed-canopy habitats, most likely because of fewer primary predators in mangroves relative to other habitats....
    • The influence of social context on animal behavior: Implications for conservation

      Owen, Megan A. (University of California, Los Angeles.Los Angeles, 2014)
      The pervasive perturbation of natural systems by human activities has rapidly changed the social context of many free-ranging animals, potentially reducing the efficiency of reproductive strategies, as well as the effective population size (Ne). Behavioral flexibility can be beneficial to species confronted with rapid contextual change, and the range of flexibility may ultimately influence whether a species can buy the time needed to respond adaptively to change. From the perspective of conservation management, an understanding of species' behavioral flexibility may improve predictions regarding the effects of rapid environmental change on populations, and facilitate the application of behavioral knowledge to conservation management. Fundamentally, an animal's decision-making processes are responsible for generating flexible behavioral responses, thus the lability of mechanisms underpinning decision-making influences the flexibility of behavioral responses. Here I evaluate the study of animal decision-making across scientific disciplines. I critically assess the use of animal decision-making in conservation and suggest ways in which decision theory could enhance conservation strategies. My empirical research is focused on the influence of social context on behavioral flexibility in the endangered giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). The panda is a compelling species in which to study behavioral flexibility in the conservation context, because they are solitary, and females are seasonally-monoestrus and ovulate spontaneously. While energetic constraints play a prominent role in reproductive strategies, little is known regarding their mating system or the plasticity of reproductive behavior. Pandas are behaviorally expressive, using multiple modes of signaling during courtship, however, a holistic understanding of multimodal signaling in the species is lacking. Further, although populations are depleted throughout most of their range, the influence of social context on behavior and communication has not been described. Here we show that female signaling effort is generally lower in the exclusive presence of other females, suggesting that females can modify their behavioural efforts during the pre-ovulatory period according to the prevailing social context. We also found that multimodal signaling during social interactions did not consistently evoke an immediate, discrete response from receivers. Together these findings suggest that giant pandas demonstrate a limited degree of flexible behavioral responses dependent upon the prevailing social context.
    • The Jamaican Iguana (Cyclura collei): a report of 25 years of conservation effort

      Wilson, B.; Grant, Tandora D.; Van Veen, R.; Hudson, R.; Fleuchaus, D.; Robinson, O.; Stephenson, K.; Iverson, John B.; Grant, Tandora D.; Knapp, Charles R.; et al. (2016)
      Considered extinct by the late 1940s, the Jamaican Iguana (Cyclura collei) was re-discovered in 1970, and its existence confirmed in 1990. The 1970 re-discovery went largely unnoticed; in contrast, the 1990 “re-discovery” spawned a successful international recovery effort….
    • The nominative technique: a simple tool for assessing illegal wildlife consumption

      Davis, Elizabeth Oneita; Crudge, Brian; Glikman, Jenny A. (2020)
      The aim of our study was to test the efficacy of the nominative technique for estimating the prevalence of wildlife part use within a small sample. We used the domestic consumption of bear Ursus thibetanus and Helarctos malayanus parts in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) as a case study and performed 179 semi-structured interviews in Luang Prabang, northern Laos, in August 2017 and April 2019. We also assessed whether the specialized questioning of the nominative technique could be used for qualitative data collection methods, such as semi-structured interviews. The technique theoretically ensures more accurate statements of illegal wildlife consumption by maintaining the anonymity of an individual's sensitive behaviour through asking about the behaviour of peers. We also directly asked about participants’ use of bear parts. The nominative technique suggested that c. 11% of the participants’ peers used bear parts, whereas respondents’ direct admittance of using bear parts was approximately double, at 23%. Use of bear parts appears not to be sensitive in northern Laos. In addition, we found a strong association between responses to questioning using the nominative technique and direct questioning, indicating that users of bear parts have social networks with higher levels of use. This lends supports to theories that use of wildlife products is directly influenced by social group. The underreporting resulting from use of the nominative technique indicates the high variability of response that can occur within small samples. However, our results show that the nominative technique may be a simple, useful tool for triangulating data, assessing users’ integration into social networks of use, and assessing changes in behaviour prevalence.
    • The one curator - one species challenge

      Wiese, Robert J.; Gray, J.; Dick, G. (2010)
      The One Curator-One Species Challenge is a plan that each zoo and aquarium commits long-term that they will lead the efforts to secure the survival of a number of species equal to the number of animal curators on staff. With this strategy the world’s zoos and aquariums could ensure survival of well over 1,000 species.
    • The past, present, and future of using social marketing to conserve biodiversity

      Veríssimo, Diogo (2019)
      Since the establishment of social marketing as a discipline, it was clear that environmental sustainability would be part of its scope. Yet, whereas the academic scope of the field was broadly defined, the origins of social marketing practice, which were heavily linked to the promotion of family planning, meant that the development of this practice-led field has been historically focused on public health....
    • The pitfalls of ignoring behaviour when quantifying habitat selection

      Roever, C.L.; Beyer, H.L.; Chase, Michael J.; van Aarde, R.J. (2014)
      Habitat selection is a behavioural mechanism by which animals attempt to maximize their inclusive fitness while balancing competing demands, such as finding food and rearing offspring while avoiding predation, in a heterogeneous and changing environment. Different habitat characteristics may be associated with each of these demands, implying that habitat selection varies depending on the behavioural motivations of the animal. Here, we investigate behaviour‐specific habitat selection in African elephants and discuss its implications for distribution modelling and conservation.
    • The plight of the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni): is there still hope to prevent extinction?

      Ryder, Oliver A.; Hermes, R.; Goeritz, F.; Durrant, Barbara S.; Stejskal, J.; Hrudy, J.; Vahala, L.; Loring, Jeanne F.; Hildebrandt, T.B.; Szentiks, C.A.; et al. (Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife ResearchBerlin, 2015)
    • The population genetics of wild chimpanzees in Cameroon and Nigeria suggests a positive role for selection in the evolution of chimpanzee subspecies

      Mitchell, Matthew W.; Locatelli, Sabrina; Ghobrial, Lora; Pokempner, Amy A.; Sesink Clee, Paul R.; Abwe, Ekwoge E.; Nicholas, Aaron; Nkembi, Louis; Anthony, Nicola M.; Morgan, Bethan J.; et al. (2015)
      Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) can be divided into four subspecies. Substantial phylogenetic evidence suggests that these subspecies can be grouped into two distinct lineages: a western African group that includes P. t. verus and P. t. ellioti and a central/eastern African group that includes P. t. troglodytes and P. t. schweinfurthii. The geographic division of these two lineages occurs in Cameroon, where the rages of P. t. ellioti and P. t. troglodytes appear to converge at the Sanaga River. Remarkably, few population genetic studies have included wild chimpanzees from this region.
    • The role of bioacoustic signals in koala sexual selection: Insights from seasonal patterns of associations revealed with GPS-proximity units

      Ellis, William A.; FitzGibbon, Sean; Pye, Geoffrey W.; Whipple, Bill; Barth, Ben; Johnston, Stephen; Seddon, Jenny; Melzer, Alistair; Higgins, Damien; Bercovitch, Fred B. (2015)
      Despite being a charismatic and well-known species, the social system of the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus—the only extant member of the family Phascolarctidae) is poorly known and much of the koala’s sociality and mating behaviors remain un-quantified. We evaluated these using proximity logging-GPS enabled tracking collars on wild koalas and discuss their implications for the mating system of this species. The frequency and duration of male-female encounters increased during the breeding season, with male-male encounters quite uncommon, suggesting little direct mating competition. By comparison, female-female interactions were very common across both seasons. Body mass of males was not correlated with their interactions with females during the breeding season, although male size is associated with a variety of acoustic parameters indicating individuality. We hypothesise that vocal advertising reduces the likelihood of male-male encounters in the breeding season while increasing the rate of male-female encounters. We suggest that male mating-season bellows function to reduce physical confrontations with other males allowing them to space themselves apart, while, at the same time, attracting females. We conclude that indirect male-male competition, female mate choice, and possibly female competition, mediate sexual selection in koalas.